HCMC – Ngo Mon Gate (Noon Gate), a typical piece of architecture of the Hue Imperial Citadel, has reopened to tourists after eight years of restoration, which cost some VND80 billion.
The Noon Gate of the Imperial Citadel in Thua Thien-Hue Province, a UNESCO heritage site, was built by King Minh Mang in 1833.
The project of restoring the gate commenced in 2013. In 2019, German expert Thorsten Marco Moves, who has cleaned up and restored more than 100 relics around the world, and his counterparts, used high-pressure cleaners to remove dirt and moss and kill the bacteria on the walls of the Noon Gate.
The structure had undergone several other restorations before, including the restoration from 1990 to 1993, with funding from the Government of Japan and technical support by UNESCO, and another restoration in 1999.
Noon Gate is the main southern gate of the citadel. The U-shaped construction is divided into two parts—the foundation and the Ngu Phung (Five Phoenixes) Pavilion. Its foundation, made mainly from brick and stone, is nearly five meters high and 58 meters long, with five entrances, of which the one in the middle was reserved only for the monarch’s use.
The Five Phoenixes Pavilion, roofed with ceramic tiles, consists of two floors supported by 100 pillars.
The Noon Gate is not simply an entrance to the Imperial Citadel but a venue for important events of the royal court.
Le Thi An Hoa, director of the Scientific Research Department at the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said the center plans to stage a revival of the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal events at the Noon Gate during upcoming festivals such as Ban Soc, a royal calendar distribution ceremony, and Truyen Lo, a ceremony to honor talented scholars and winners of examinations.
The Government has also approved a VND100 billion (US$4.34 million) emergency package sourced from the State budget to repair the Thai Hoa Palace, the major palace of the Hue Imperial Citadel, which was damaged by the recent typhoons and floods. With the throne placed inside, Thai Hoa Palace is the coronation venue of 13 kings of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).